In the Soaring Light

“Swifts don’t make these flights alone. They ascend as flocks every evening before singly drifting down, while in the morning they fly up alone and return to earth together. To orient themselves correctly, to make the right decisions, they need to pay attention not only to the cues of the world around them but also to one another.” - Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights, 2020

In the Waning Light -team will return to the work in early summer with a revised version titled In the Soaring Light. The work has previously been performed in August 2023 in Jyväskylä on the Haukanniemi nature trail. The piece will be performed in the Viikki arboretum in Helsinki in the increasing early summer light. The project is based on the essays on birds by author Helen Macdonald and scientific knowledge by ornithologist Mia Rönkä. In her essays, Helen Macdonald describes a sense of community among birds; the care for one another, different roles inside the flock, paying attention to each member, listening, and exchanging essential information in order to survive. She writes: “We can speak to each other. Swifts have no voices, but what they can do is pay attention to what other swifts are doing. And in the end it can be as simple as this: they follow each other.”

The nature trail prepared by the working group invites people to follow one another, to look for small clues along the way, to let their gaze lead them closer to the ground or towards towering trees, to listen and sharpen their senses.

Concept and direction: Milla Koistinen
Choreography and performance: Elina Häyrynen, Anna Virkkunen, Milla Koistinen
Sound design, music and performance: Paul Valikoski, Tatu Rönkkö
Visual artist, spatial design: Salla Salin
Ornithologist: Mia Rönkä
Costumes: Kaisu Hölttä
Photos: Matti Häyrynen and Paul Valikoski
Production: Off/Balance, Milla Koistinen
Supported by: Arts Promotion Centre, City of Jyväskylä, The Finnish Cultural Foundation

31.5.2024 klo 17
1.6.2024 klo 17
2.6.2024 klo 14

Duration approximately 1 hour.

The performance takes place in the surroundings of Viikki Arboretum. The starting place:
During the performance the audience will walk a distance of about 1,5 km in the nature. The walking route is not accessible.

A voluntary entrance fee will be collected on the sopped via MobilePay. By reserving a place, we will confirm the number of people attending and inform you of any changes, such as cancellations in case of rain. Reserve your place using the form at

Additional information: (producer)

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